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With an ongoing pandemic, rising prices on nearly everything, and changes in the employment landscape, Americans are headed into 2022 with money on their minds. 

Slickdeals recently commissioned a survey to examine personal financial goals of Americans heading into 2022 compared to last year's survey on the same topic.

This survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, conducted by OnePoll, showed that 76% of respondents have new year's resolutions centered on being smarter with their finances, up from 73% who stated the same last year.

Financial Climate Change in 2021

The current survey reveals more of a sense of hopefulness than the prior year, with 62% of respondents saying 2021 was easier on their finances. That number was only at 31% last year. 

The reason for this hopefulness could stem from Americans facing fewer financial struggles in 2021 compared to 2020. In last year's survey, nearly half of respondents (47%) dealt with financial difficulties in 2020. Only 15% of respondents saw financial difficulties in 2021. Increasing employment numbers was also a reason for renewed hope. 76% of respondents had full-time employment in 2021, up from 58% in 2020.

Changing Concern in 2022

If there's a recurring theme in this year's survey for what's on the mind of Americans headed into 2022, it's almost certainly price inflation.

Rising prices have been a hot topic throughout 2021, and Americans are weary of this continuing trend heading into the new year. Of everyone polled, 83% of respondents listed price inflation as a concern, with 76% fearing that it could be a difficult hurdle in reaching their financial goals in 2022.

Improving Savings and Spending Habits Headed Into The New Year 

couple working on finances at home

With 2021 almost in the rearview mirror, many Americans are approaching 2022 with a plan to change their financial future. Three in four respondents (76%) believe they can increase their wealth in 2022 by repairing their financial status. The majority of respondents (83%) believe having financial stability can have a positive domino effect in their lives.

According to the respondents, there are three ways they can best improve their finances in 2022: 

  • Get out of debt (50%)
  • Remove unnecessary bills (47%)
  • Seek deals or coupons when shopping (44%)

“The new year is a great time to review your financial scorecard for the past year and then set goals for improvement,” said Louie Patterson, Senior Finance Editor for Slickdeals.  “It’s promising that heading into 2022, Americans reported optimism about their finances, and some simple tweaks in the new year can help them reach their goals even faster.”

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Savings is also top of mind for Americans headed into 2022. In 2021, the average person saved $328 per month but hopes to save $408 per month this next year. A major focus on building up savings seems to involve becoming more responsible shoppers, considering factors such as: 

  • The number of good reviews for a product (49%)
  • Whether the retailer is being trustworthy (46%)
  • Whether the product’s company is being trustworthy (46%)

Ethics will play a key role in purchases in 2022. Three in four respondents (74%) said a company’s ethics also matter when deciding whether or not to purchase from them.

Popular Money Moves For 2022

The survey also revealed steps people plan to make this upcoming year to improve their finances.  

Top 10 Financial Plans For 2022

  • Getting out of debt                                                      50%
  • Removing unnecessary bills                                        47%
  • Seek out deals or coupons when shopping                44%
  • Using a savings app                                                    44%
  • Applying for a credit card/credit increase                   41%
  • Reallocating a monthly budget                                    36%
  • Improving credit scores                                               35%
  • Spending money more wisely                                      32%
  • Switching to a different bank                                       28%
  • Investing money                                                        27%

“Saving more money does not always involve drastically altering your day-to-day lifestyle," Patterson added. "Easy changes such as cutting unnecessary subscriptions or looking for more deals and discounts when shopping can add up to big savings. By tapping into our community of savvy shoppers, consumers can quickly make strides toward their new year’s financial goals.” 


Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.